Wednesday 28th July 2010

Members were a little thin on the ground to take advantage of what turned out to be a very pleasant, soarable day.

One of our newest 'addicts', Mike Keller (a one-time Royal Marines helicopter pilot), was the only ab initio student on-site, and thus got more than his fair share of briefings and training flights - achieving his first successful glider landing, and going away happy.

The arrival of Christine , returning after a recent trial lesson, plus a large family group from Newquay and a party of Scouts from Bristol kept the flying list ticking along

Meanwhile CFI Don Puttock was kept busy assessing potential Basic Instructor candidates (and in the process exploring some of the local ridges) using his Motorfalke.

Thanks to all of those club members who did turn up to fly - and to help others to fly. And to those who, joined by Mike Jardine, stayed on in the evening to fly the Scouts.

Bob Pirie - Duty Instructor

Sunday 25th July 2010

A foggy start, so the K13 was seen disappearing into the murk as it was towed up to the launch point.

Quite a busy day as members anticipated soaring later, and 4 ab-initio pupils---great to see you all.

Tea and a briefing on circuit planning started the day, followed by loads of training while the soaring guys waited for conditions to improve.

Wave was evident most of the day but too difficult to reach from a winch launch. Never mind, a very pleasant day, thanks everyone for your efforts.


Saturday 24th July 2010

A grey day with cloud bases at about 1100ft did not seem too promising.

However, the 2 seaters were out with plenty of training going on. Stuart is close to solo and we welcome new member Lee Bailey who is full of enthusiasm and keen to learn.

The day finished with the instructors having a meeting and Alan Ballard cooking barbeque food for everyone.


Ged Nevisky Assistant Category Instructor

It is with great pride that Dartmoor Gliding Society is able to announce that Ged Nevisky has now finished all the courses and check flights to become a qualified Assistant Category Instructor.

Dougie at peacock dreams photography (17)

Ged, whose gliding experience dates back to the 1960’s, has worked hard on gaining his new qualification and will no doubt attack his new role with the enthusiasm he applies to his other duties as Vice Chairman and Safety Officer.

From the committee and members of DGS well done and many thanks.


Wednesday 22 July 2010

Today saw Brentor sitting in a strong southern airflow full of showers. The showers could be easily seen all around the area all through the day managed to miss the airfield until early evening.

Although Bob Pirie was absent today there was plenty of instructor cover, In fact you could hardly turn around without tripping over an instructor. Great stuff.

A mix of training, air experience flying, and check flights kept things busy. Even with the very strong southerly wind and low cloudbase most flights had a little soaring element.

Ged Nevisky spent the day with DCFI Mark doing his site acceptance checks to finalise his instructor rating.

Bob spent the day winch training new drivers on the “Guslaunch” winch. Thanks Bob.

The evening started with a visit from the South Zeal scouts for an Air Experience evening. Lots of excitement and expectation; first glider launched complete with scout and;------ it rained. The showers that had missed us all day finally arrived and as the cloudbase lowered dramatically flying was regretfully cancelled. We hope to reschedule the visit soon.


Sunday 18th July 2010

7am and the church tower is scraping the clouds. Also a large bull and his girlfriends are exploring the airfield. Cattle sent home and fence put up before getting down to the serious business of the fry-up and more tea.

Two keen students arrive commendably early and briefings begin. Meanwhile Martin Cropper & myself rode the range and checked fences and gave all gates a new piece of rope and re-fixed warning signs where necessary.

Everyone pitched in for a bit of "gardening" and tidying-up around the hangar area and then back to the clubhouse for lunch and more briefings.

Decided to call it a day around 3.30 and drove home watching the rapidly clearing skies.
You don't have to be mad to take up gliding but it helps!

Alan Ballard

Saturday 17th July 2010

The day did not look too promising at the start. But with plenty of members present and a forecast for improving conditions it was game on.

The gliders were out. The K13 was reassembled after it’s C of A. Winch and cables ready. A group of members found time for some stone picking on the runway.

But where was Don? Was he really late on parade? Just as the people were wondering, he made a dramatic arrival from Shennington having flown down this morning in the motor glider. Next week cape and underwear outside trousers?

The weather was faithful to the forecast with most pilots managing good soaring flights during the afternoon.

The day finished with the now customary nibbles, beer and tall stories outside the clubhouse.


Wednesday 15th July 2010

Low cloud, heavy showers and strong wind kept us on the ground. We blame the Plymouth Air Show; it always attracts poor weather.

The ground work continues.

Instructor Bob Pirie and new member Mike Keller were discussing the intricacies of winch launching.

Martin and John were working flat out on the C of A for the K13 which was derigged for the purpose by the assembled members. It is intended to work on it on Thursday and Friday so that it will be ready for Saturday. To help with this the port wing was put into the workshop for some minor woodwork repairs 

Farmer Phil and Ged (trainee farmer?) spent the day on the mower refurbishment which seems to have become our very own “Never Ending Story”.

Barry and Roger Green returned early with their Astir from Shennington. The poor weather is country wide.

The forecast for the weekend is more hopeful.


Sunday 11th July 2010

Encouraged by a superb sky with strong thermals to a 3,500'+ cloudbase, I arrived indecently late hoping to rig and do some solo flying, but was amazed that no private owners had rigged and that CFI Don, Martins Broadway and Cropper and Allan Ballard were the only club members present and were flat out looking after trial lessons and flying enthusiastic returning temporary members. So thin were we on the ground that the Zug and K8 never even emerged from the hangar - on one of the best soaring days we've seen for a long time.

I test-flew the newly-improved K6, but finding both varios u/s, flopped back to earth. Then, after some fiddling, Martin Broadway had a go, achieving 1hr 10 mins; returning eventually to report that our fiddling had been unsuccessful! With BVB sitting unwanted at the launch point, I went off on my own for a most enjoyable 1hr 40 mins touring the local area.

With one eye on the deteriorating weather from the west, around 1600 hrs Don headed off towards Shennington in the Motorfalke in order to rendezvous with the rest of the DGS crew who are there for the week. Meanwhile back at base the day ended with three of us spending far too much time indulging in some less than competent but ultimately successful attempts at hangar packing.

Bob Pirie

Saturday 10th July 2010

Very low cloud and frequent showers meant no flying today. There was plenty of activity though.

Don was in lecture mode.

Martin led a small group to rig the K6 after completion of it’s CofA  and ARC renewal. Martin and John have completed 30 jobs / upgrades on the aircraft in the last 2 weeks including replacing the instrument panel, seat and winch hook and refurbishing the wheel brake system. Thanks chaps.

Another group erected the clubhouse awning to provide a little cover for the barbeques that are becoming a feature of Saturday evenings.

Throughout the afternoon the clubhouse was occupied by a committee meeting. Surely this much hot air would have produced a thermal?


Wednesday 7th July 2010

I left home for the airfield today in fog and drizzle but with the hope things might be better at Brentor. (Glider pilots are always optimistic).

Whist there was no fog on the airfield the cloudbase was at tree top level with showers every few minutes. After a phone call from instructor Bob Pirie (another optimist) the days flying was scrubbed.

There was still plenty of activity though. Martin and John continued the work on the K6  C of A  / ARC renewal. ( for non pilots this is roughly equivalent to the MOT on your car). Phil and Ged were working on refurbishing the mower. Alan continued work on the  winch. Committee members talked a lot. Martin helped a pilot to understand the NOTAMS system.


Sunday 4th July 2010

No flying today due to a very low cloudbase which left plenty of time to spend on ground training and lectures.


Saturday 3rd July 2010

The weather forecast was not very promising. But with the westerly wind more or less down the runway under an overcast sky flying commenced early.

Before long pilots were finding enough thermal activity to provide a challenge. This continued until about 1pm when a convergence came within range of the airfield. The upper cloudbase  was now in excess of 4000 feet on the northern side. The cloudbase under the convergence was only about 2300 ft with a 2000 ft vertical wall of cloud which could be climbed up at will by the gliders lucky enough to be there. Great fun!

After everyone had had their fill of flying, The equipment was put away and the remaining club members settled down to a well deserved barbeque.

Our thanks today must go to Chris Fagg who drove from his home in deepest Cornwall to a dealer to pickup a replacement wheel and tyre for the quad bike, then drove to the airfield to deliver it, before driving home again without stopping to fly (he had other commitments today). Now that is real club spirit


Twin Astir Software Fault?

After a short flight on Wednesday 2 pilots from the Twin Astir syndicate safely landed the aircraft reporting faulty airspeed indicators in both seats. Upon dismantling the instrument panels it became apparent that there was a blockage in the pitot system which, in a Twin Astir, is fed by a tube mounted in the leading edge of the fin.

Twin Atir
After removing all pitot connections to the instruments, a gentle reverse pressure was applied and, with a satisfying “plop”, a pupa or maggot type object was shot out of the pitot tube. This had obviously been laid in there by a visiting wasp, bee or some other bug.

Later, whist recounting the tale of the “bug” in the pitot, a visitor was heard to say that software is always full of bugs and perhaps the pilots should have “reset”  the aircraft ???


David Jesty – Assistant Category Instructor

It is with great pride that Dartmoor Gliding Society is able to announce that David Jesty has now finished all the courses and check flights to become a qualified Assistant Category Instructor.

Dougie at peacock dreams photography (30)

David, an experience cross country pilot, learned to fly at Brentor and has worked hard to achieve his new rating.

On behalf of the club and committee, congratulations and very well done.


Wednesday 30th June 2010

The day started with lots of cloud cover and a light breeze from the south. It was still warm enough for tee shirts and shorts though and with a clearance forecast for 1pm lets go flying.

The day started early with David Jesty flying his flight acceptance checks with DCFI Mark Courtney. He surmounted this final hurdle and is now a qualified Assistant Category Instructor – very well done.

At the same time the multi-talented Vice Chairman, Safety Officer and Basic Instructor Ged Nevisky completed his Assistant Category Instructor course with CFI Don Puttock. Just the site acceptance test to do to complete his Instructor Rating.

The clearance did come early afternoon and the members took advantage of the thermals that were on offer.

Most notable of the afternoon flights was Phil Hardwick who has just converted to flying the Zugvogel who managed 39 minutes to complete a bronze leg – way to go Phil.

The evening flying was busy with an air experience group from Babcock Marine who, judging by the smiling faces, had an enjoyable time.

After all the equipment was put away the remaining club members were sat outside the clubhouse sharing a beer and flying stories as the sun went down. What a great day.